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Frequently Asked Questions: SAP Support for Virtualization and Cloud on Windows

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Here you can find frequently asked questions on SAP support for virtualized SAP systems on Windows.

Support

Which virtualization solutions and guest operating system versions are supported by SAP on Windows?

SAP supports the virtualization solutions VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and IBM INxHY.
For more information on supported virtualization solution and guest operating system versions as well as for support restrictions applying to run SAP applications on these virtualization solutions, see:


Which SAP components are supported to run on these virtualization solutions?

SAP supports all SAP components that agree with the General Support Statement for Virtual Environments. For more information, see section 2 of SAP Note 1492000 (SMP login required).


Which databases are supported by SAP to run on these virtualization solutions?

SAP releases its applications for specified databases and its versions. For the database versions supported by your SAP application, check the Product Availability Matrix at http://support.sap.com/pam.
By default, the SAP databases Sybase ASE and MaxDB fully agree with the General Support Statement for virtual Environments and are therefore supported on all virtualization solutions that are supported by SAP.
Other database vendors might specify support restrictions for the use of their software in a virtual environment. For the support statement of your database vendor, check section 4 of SAP Note1492000 (SMP login required).
For a short overview on database support with your virtualization solution or cloud offering, check the key pages for every virtualization/cloud solution linked on this SCN page.


Is high availability supported in a virtual environment on Windows?

Guest Failover Clustering is supported. Guest Failover Clustering in combination with Host Failover Clustering is not supported.
For more information, see SAP Note1374671 (SMP login required).

For hints on setting up Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Clustering for SAP software, read the document How to Set Up Stable and High-Performance Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Clustering: 10 Hints.
For hints on SAP NetWeaver High Availability and Business Continuity in Virtual Environments with Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware hypervisors, read the document SAP NetWeaver High Availability and Business Continuity in Virtual Environments with VMware and Hyper-V on Microsoft Windows.


What do I have to take into account if I want to run my SAP application on one of the supported virtualization solutions?

Besides the SAP support restrictions for running your SAP application on VMware, Hyper-V, or INxHY stated in SAP Note1409608 (SMP login required), you have to take into account the following:
  • Check whether the hardware where you want to install your virtualization solution is on the list of SAP certified hardware for Windows. For more information, see http://www.saponwin.com.
  • If you want to virtualize with VMware, check whether the hardware where you want to install VMware vSphere is on the hardware compatibility list of VMware itself. This list is available at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php.
  • Check whether there is any support restriction specified by your database vendor related to virtualization. Some database vendors might request you to replicate the problem on physical hardware. For more information, see SAP Note 1492000 (SMP login required).
  • Your SAP application might use third-party software for which there might be individual support statements for your virtualization solution. In general, one can say that if the third-party software suppliers offer restricted or no support for running their software in virtual environments, these restrictions also apply when using this software in an SAP environment.


Why is the enhanced SAP system monitoring view essentially for SAP support?

The SAP transactions that monitor the system configuration do not distinguish between a system operating on physical hardware and a system operating in a virtual or cloud environment.
Since you can assign the physical hardware to several guest operating systems at the same time, important information about which native resources are available to the virtual system is missing. SAP only provides customers with support and services like Early Watch or Go-Live together with enhanced monitoring. For more information about activating enhanced SAP system monitoring, see SAP Note 1409604 (SMP login required).


Which hosting partners are certified for SAP?


Which public cloud offerings are supported by SAP on Windows?

SAP supports specified applications with Windows on supported cloud offerings of Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.
For more information about supported SAP applications, VM instance types, operating system and database versions with your cloud offering, see:


Technical Questions

Which limitations might exist when virtualizing an SAP application?

When thinking about using SAP applications in virtual environments, you have to analyze whether the underlying server infrastructure is adequate for your virtualization solution. The main issue with virtualization concerns performance, which might be lower when sharing resources with other virtual machines. If you already have performance limitations when operating your SAP system on physical hardware, these limitations will also exist on the additional virtualization layer, especially when running performance- and business-critical SAP applications. Virtualized servers tend to consume more resources and require greater disk I/O bandwidth, more disk space, CPU, and memory than physical servers with comparable computing loads.
Therefore, to avoid performance bottlenecks, you have to reserve enough CPU, memory, and disk space for the virtual machines and their overhead. Other aspects you need to consider are the size of the database, the system load, the number of users, and so on. You should also avoid combining various SAP systems that have load peaks at the same time. You need to thoroughly weigh up all these factors before deciding whether you can save hardware and operating costs by deploying virtualization.


Is Non-Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA) useful in a virtual environment?

Yes. SAP recommends enabling NUMA in the BIOS of the host, since this improves overall performance. Newer processors are designed to access a specific part of main memory faster than other memory areas (e.g. Intel QuickPath Interconnect technology). If the memory of the virtual machine is completely allocated to one NUMA segment, the virtual machine achieves the best overall performance. With memory striping or memory sharing between NUMA nodes, performance decreases measurably. A changed starting order of virtual machines reallocates their memory, and might result in a slightly different performance outcome. The virtual machine that is started first has the best performance due to faster memory access.


Should I use CPU Hyperthreading (SMT) in a virtual environment?

Yes, if you plan to over-commit the available physical CPUs (more virtual CPUs than physical cores).
No, if the total of virtual CPUs on all VMs running on one host is smaller than the number of available physical threads.
Not using SMT leads to a more predictable response time for all virtual machines, as well as greater throughput of one single virtual machine.
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